The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 15, 2012

Dredger replica on the river

Boat built for Iron Heritage Festival

DANVILLE — The engine’s not that loud, but a coal dredger goes a lot faster than you might think.

At 3 miles per hour, a replica of a coal dredger traveled up the Susquehanna River on Friday, turned around and headed back to Point Township.

About 30 people assembled for the christening of the craft named The Billy Marks in honor of William “Billy” Grover Marks who drowned in the river at Danville when he was 16 months old.

Friday the 13th proved lucky for the 40 feet long and eight feet wide dredger which later cruised up and down the river with passengers.

“Look at the line,” project organizer Van Wagner, of the Danville area, said at one point, referring to kids wearing life jackets and waiting to board the wooden craft.

A number of people took turns riding in the dredger after it made its maiden voyage with Wagner steering and dressed as a dredger captain from the 1950s, Brad Becker, of the Danville area, was in charge of the engine. Hunter Lingle, of Lewisburg, one of Wagner’s students, said he was the boat docker and the one who kept the boat from hitting rocks. He was also the coolest because his overalls were wet from getting in and out of the water.

People in three canoes paddled around the coal dredger.

For more details, see Monday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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